Creative Low Cost Filmmaking Techniques
Ultra Low Budget Filmmaking it’s not about cutting corners to save money. It’s about using tools, processes and techniques to produce something unique and creative, and to connect with your audience. Trying to follow the same processes of a bigger budget movie will most likely result in a movie that looks, well, cheap.
That’s not the idea.
Sure, a low budget film production lacks the money and resources to use higher-end equipment, large crews and talent, but it doesn’t mean that within your constrains you cannot be creative and unique. Creativity and uniqueness it’s all within you. And this is where successful indie low budget films have beaten multi million dollar movies.
Once you do an inventory of what you have, all the tools, props, locations and talent, you must make use of your most priced commodity: your creative process. Ask yourself: “Is this the best I can do?” and keep thinking ideas. Hitchcock used to say that the first idea is always a cliché, and that should only be your starting point.
Don’t shoot your first idea. Keep thinking and keep asking yourself questions.
When you look at it from that point-of-view your production is now richer than you think. You posses the most priced and looked after value: your imagination.
As an example I picked this film from Vimeo titled “Each moment is the universe“ and directed by Bruce Thierry Cheung. The film is hypnotic and inspirational. It doesn’t have special effects, or mind-blowing action, but it does have a lot of humanity and it successfully creates an emotional connection with the audience.
The main highlights and low cost techniques are:
- The film was shot mostly with natural lighting
- Camera work is mostly and exclusively hand held.
- The color correction creates uniformity and a warm mood, which enhances the story.
I don’t know the filmmakers or the budget of this film, but this is the kind of films that uses low cost filmmaking techniques like the ones I advocate in this blog. It may not be the style of film you’re planning to make; that’s fine, but we can all learn from it. Study the techniques carefully and enjoy this beautiful film.